Malaysians are protesting authorities' charges of sedition against a professor, a journalist, and numerous opposition leaders. Under the Sedition Act of 1948, enacted during British colonial rule, any speech that can "excite disaffection" against the government or ruler, or "promote feelings of ill will...between different races or classes" is deemed seditious and is liable for prosecution.

In 2012, Prime Minister Najib Razak announced plans to repeal the law and replace it with the National Harmony Act, which would prevent incitement of religious or racial hatred. The government says it will present the new bill to Parliament by the end of 2015.

However, critics say the Sedition Act continues to be employed by the government to crack down on dissenting voices. Many online are using #MansuhAktaHasutan ('Abolish the Sedition Act') in support of Azmi Sharom, the recently charged law professor, and opposition leaders.